Friends, while my time at the arcade has temporarily come to an end, thanks to the threat of the coronavirus, I can assure that one of the most popular classic games is still 1981’s Donkey Kong. Pac-Man might actually be the most popular title at Arkadia – thanks in no small part to the fact that it is a little simpler and easier to pick up in regards to gameplay. But Donkey Kong almost always has a Player stepping up and trying to guide Jumpman (Mario) safely through the various threats of the construction site where Donkey Kong has managed to abscond with the poor Lady (Pauline) – or vice versa in the case of Donkey Kong: Pauline Edition.
If I am being completely honest, it was Donkey Kong that was my go-to game back in the day if given the option between the two – however I really began to appreciate the strategy needed in Pac-Man as an early adult. Although I would most assuredly be lying if I said I’ve ever been proficient enough to be considered good at either of the classic games. However in my eight years as an employee of the arcade – I can tell you that we’ve been lucky enough to see the kill screen on both titles. In fact I recall Shea Mathis, the owner and manager of Arkadia, once shared a live feed of a Player reaching the kill screen on Donkey Kong – you might even still be able to see it on the Instagram account for the arcade.
As I mentioned on the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast when covering Nintendo’s extremely popular arcade game – Donkey Kong is not an easy game in the least – but it is still fun even when you keep getting creamed by a barrel, fireball, or spring. The question is… how do you make Donkey Kong even MORE fun? The answer to that question is you combine perler beads and stop motion animation to re-create three of the four stages from the video game!